At the heart of the Latrell Mitchell situation, it seems that Mitchell wanted to move not because he wanted more money, but because he wanted to be a fullback, something that seemed highly unlikely with the Roosters with James Tedesco’s stranglehold on the No. 1 jersey.
Wayne Bennett has a new project in attempting to get the best out of Mitchell. Mitchell can display the schizophrenic trait of being the most lethal attacker in the league when things are falling his way, but when things go awry, he can morph into a player with little interest, especially when it turns to a question of playing defence.
From our perspective, were we Mitchell, we would be gazing in the direction of heaven and expressing gratitude.
If Bennett can manage to coax the best Mitchell has to offer and get a consistent effort every game, the Bunnies could rattle the Telstra 2019 NRL Premiership ladder, but the risk lies in the reality that if Mitchell does not get his way, he might sulk and prove that whatever price he commanded was salary cap space squandered.
Mitchell is still maintaining hope of moving back to what he considers his natural position of fullback.
“Potentially yes, I’ve just come over to get in a good system and just get fit and start playing some good footy,” Mitchell told reporters in response to inquiries over his future position with Souths.
Mitchell speaks of his early football experience as though he were 32, rather than 22, so it would seem as though he would willingly accept any role he is asked to fill, but men of that age are not always gifted with perspectives that extend beyond the next hour, if that far.
Bennett has several successive reclamation projects to his credit, but then, he has been around forever.
Bennett has worked his brand of magic, getting Souths to within one win of the 2019 NRL Grand Final after coming over from Brisbane Broncos.
That said, the Rabbitohs concluded 2019 in the precise spot in which they concluded 2018, where the top of the ladder was choked with four clubs all on 32 points.